Over time, some men may begin to notice that their penis has become less sensitive. A loss of penis sensitivity is common in conjunction with having had too much to drink – but a regular decline is something to take note of.
A decrease in penis sensitivity may result in less sexual satisfaction, and it’s possible that you may struggle to orgasm. This can be frustrating for both partners. You may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, and it could even be a sign of other underlying health conditions.
Whatever the cause may be, there are steps you can take to help increase sensitivity in your penis. Here are a few potential causes of a decrease in penis sensitivity, along with tips you can try that may help you feel more in the bedroom.
What Causes a Penis to Lose Sensitivity?
The penis is innervated (or stimulated) by a nerve known as the pudendal nerve. The pudendal nerve doesn’t just provide sensation to the skin of the penis, it also stimulates the perineal region, scrotum, and anus. Issues with the pudendal nerve can lead to a loss of sensitivity in the penis, penile numbness, and erectile dysfunction.
The skin on the penis is similar to the skin on the rest of your body. Depending on the thickness of the skin and the presence of nerve fibers, sensations on your skin are felt in various ways. For example, the skin on your penis is much thinner than the skin on the bottom of your feet – which is why your penis tends to be much more sensitive.
The most effective treatment for penis desensitization will depend on what exactly is causing the decrease of sensitivity in your penis. There are quite a few possible culprits.
If you only experience a decrease in penis sensitivity when you drink, you shouldn’t be too concerned. It’s typical for men to experience sexual dysfunction (including a lack of sensitivity in the penis) after having a couple too many. But regular alcohol abuse can lead to deeper health issues, and chronic, heavy alcohol use is a well-defined risk factor for erectile dysfunction.
Drinking too much alcohol can diminish the pleasure of sex for many reasons, but it can also contribute to your penis becoming less sensitive – both on an acute one-time basis as well as chronically due to nerve damage.
Tip #1: limit your consumption
If you're worried about alcohol impacting sexual performance, keep it to two drinks or fewer. If you do tend to overindulge, the loss of penis sensitivity or other negative impacts (such as difficulty achieving orgasm or getting an erection) should disappear once you've sobered up.
By minimizing alcohol intake, individuals may experience improved blood circulation and nerve function, leading to heightened sensitivity in the penis. Additionally, alcohol can dull the senses, including pleasurable sensations, which can impact the overall sexual experience.
The way that you masturbate can have a profound effect on your penis sensitivity. The slang term for this is “death grip syndrome” and the gist of it is that people who masturbate using an excessively tight grip may become desensitized to other types of pleasure over time.
Masturbating too frequently, or for long periods at a time, can reduce sensitivity in your penis due to friction. Hyperstimulation is also linked to a decrease in penile sensitivity. Some research has shown a correlation between delayed orgasm or premature ejaculation and increased frequency of masturbation or idiosyncratic masturbation practices.
Decreased sensitivity can lead to increased masturbation force to counteract the decline in sensitivity, and in some cases penetrative sex may not fulfill a man's sensitivity needs. If death grip is the issue, try loosening your grip or stroking at a slower pace, or a combination of the two.
While masturbation is perfectly normal and healthy, desensitization can occur with excessive masturbation. Try taking a break if you suspect it's affecting your sexual abilities.
Tip #2: use a loose grip when you masturbate
A looser grip and gentler strokes can allow for more subtle sensations and heightened sensitivity. By adjusting the pressure and grip, you may find that you can better tune in to the pleasurable sensations and enhance their overall experience.
Additionally, incorporating different techniques, such as varying speed and rhythm, can help to enhance sensitivity and explore different levels of arousal. Remember, finding the right technique and level of pressure is a personal journey, so be open to experimentation and listen to your body's cues for optimal pleasure.
Tip #3: use less lube to increase friction
While lube is often used to enhance comfort and reduce friction, some may find that using less or even no lube can heighten sensitivity during intercourse or masturbation. The reduction in lubrication can increase the sensation and intensity of contact between your penis and your partner’s genitals.
However, it's essential to keep in mind that personal preferences can vary greatly. Communication with your partner about what feels pleasurable, experimenting with different levels of lubrication, and prioritizing overall comfort and pleasure are vital when considering this adjustment.
Low testosterone levels
Testosterone is the male sex hormone most responsible for libido, in addition to other important physiological functions. If your testosterone levels drop, you may start to feel less responsive to sexual stimulation and have issues getting aroused or problems getting and keeping an erection.
Testosterone levels naturally decrease as you grow older, but damage to your testicles can also result in low testosterone. Certain conditions – such as substance abuse, medications, and cancer treatments – may also lead to low T.
Your doctor will be able to diagnose low testosterone with a simple blood test and can help you decide if medical intervention is necessary. Low T is treatable using testosterone replacement therapy – most commonly available via injection – but skin patches and gels are also available.
In addition, you can work to improve your testosterone levels naturally by engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a moderate weight, and getting enough sleep.
Tip #4: get your testosterone levels checked
If you suspect a decline in testosterone, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional and discuss the possibility of a testosterone evaluation.
Based on their assessment, they can recommend appropriate measures to address any testosterone deficiencies, which could potentially improve penis sensitivity and overall sexual satisfaction. They can check your testosterone levels and, if appropriate, prescribe testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or a related form of treatment.
Nerves play a crucial role in transmitting signals of pleasure and sensation from the penis to the brain, allowing for sexual arousal and enjoyment. However, certain factors, such as physical trauma, diabetes, certain medical conditions, or prolonged pressure on the nerves, can lead to nerve damage in the penile region.
This damage can disrupt or interfere with the normal functioning of nerve fibers, resulting in reduced or altered sensitivity. Decreased nerve sensitivity may lead to difficulties in experiencing pleasurable sensations, achieving or maintaining an erection, or distinguishing between different levels of touch or stimulation.
In the event that there are any issues with the pudendal nerve, a loss of sensitivity and erectile dysfunction are a likely result. While there are thousands of other nerves located in the penis, the pudendal nerve is the most important of all, and issues with it can lead to the most severe consequences.
It is important to communicate any concerns about reduced sensitivity with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis, intervention, or treatment options to address underlying causes and potentially restore or improve penile sensitivity.
Tip #5: opt for different forms of stimulation
Experiment with various types of touch or stimulation, such as using different textures, pressures, or even temperature play. Exploring what feels pleasurable for you and your partner can help maximize sensitivity and enhance sexual experiences.
Focus on non-genital erogenous zones by redirecting attention to other erogenous zones in your body – such as the ears, neck, nipples, or inner thighs. This can provide alternative avenues for pleasure and arousal. Expanding your sensory experiences beyond the penis can help compensate for reduced sensitivity.
It may seem intimidating, but incorporating sex toys can help enhance sensation and pleasure. Experimenting with different settings and intensities might help overcome diminished sensitivity caused by nerve damage.
Different sex positions can create varying degrees of stimulation and sensations for both partners. Experimenting with different positions that allow for direct or indirect stimulation of the penis can enhance sensitivity and pleasure.
For example, positions that provide more friction or allow for deeper penetration may increase sensation. Additionally, positions that allow for increased skin-to-skin contact – such as spooning or seated positions – can heighten sensitivity by intensifying the physical connection.
Communication and exploration with your partner is crucial in finding the positions that work best for both of you and help increase penis sensitivity to enhance overall sexual satisfaction.
A Sedentary Lifestyle
Sitting for long periods of time – whether at work or at home – can put pressure on your perineum and prostate. The nerves and blood vessels that go into the penis travel through these areas, so added pressure can affect both sensation and erection quality.
Further, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain and cardiovascular conditions. Regular exercise is critical to your general wellbeing.
Find a way to spend less time sitting down, such as making a daily walk part of your routine or trying out a standing desk when working. It can also be helpful to set an hourly reminder on your phone to tell you it’s time to get up and move around a bit.
Tip #6: adjust the way you sit
The way you position yourself while sitting can have an impact on the blood flow and nerve sensitivity in the genital area. Sitting for prolonged periods, especially with improper posture or crossing the legs, can compress the blood vessels and nerves, potentially leading to decreased sensitivity.
To enhance penis sensitivity, it is advisable to sit with proper posture, avoiding crossing the legs tightly. Opt for sitting in a balanced position that allows for good blood flow and minimizes pressure on the groin area.
Taking regular breaks to stand, stretch, and move around can also help maintain healthy circulation and promote optimal sensitivity in the penis.
Tip #7: stay active
Being physically active has numerous benefits for overall health, and it can positively impact various aspects of sexual health as well. While there isn't direct scientific evidence linking increased physical activity to heightened penis sensitivity specifically, regular exercise offers several mechanisms that can contribute to an improved sexual experience – including enhanced blood flow, hormone regulation, and psychological well-being.
Improved blood flow: Engaging in physical activity promotes better blood circulation throughout the body, including the genital area. Increased blood flow to the penis can facilitate stronger and longer-lasting erections. It is worth noting that good blood flow is vital for maintaining healthy tissues and nerve function, which can potentially have a positive impact on sensitivity.
Hormone regulation: Regular exercise can help regulate hormone levels, including testosterone, which plays a significant role in sexual health. Testosterone is involved in sexual desire, arousal, and overall sexual functioning. By maintaining a healthy level of testosterone through exercise, it is possible to support optimal sexual function and potentially enhance sensitivity.
Stress reduction and emotional well-being: Exercise is known to trigger the release of endorphins, often referred to as "feel-good" hormones. These endorphins can improve mood, reduce stress, and alleviate anxiety or depression, all of which can impact sexual pleasure and satisfaction.
How Rex MD Can Help
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and there’s no clear answer as to why you are lacking feeling in your penis, you may want to consider exploring medications.
One tip to potentially increase penis sensitivity is to consider switching medications, particularly if you are currently taking medications that are known to have sexual side effects. Some medications, such as certain antidepressants or antihistamines, can have an impact on sexual function and may contribute to decreased penis sensitivity.
If you suspect that your medication is affecting your sexual sensitivity, it is important to discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your current medication regimen and explore alternative options that may have fewer sexual side effects.
It is crucial not to stop or change medications without medical guidance, as sudden changes can have adverse effects on your health. By working with your healthcare provider, you can potentially find a medication that addresses your health needs while minimizing any negative impact on penis sensitivity.
If you're dealing with decreased penis sensitivity, making a few changes to your lifestyle habits may help. If you're still experiencing issues with sexual performance, there are medications available that can help, too.
Rex MD is here for that, with virtual visits done from the comfort of home and medications delivered to your door, if appropriate.